Skip to content
Name: In re L.J.
Case #: C096775
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/23/2023

The juvenile court properly excluded recordings made by Mother during visitations with the minor because minor’s counsel did not consent to the recordings and the evidence was cumulative. The minor was removed from Mother due to her substance abuse. Mother engaged in treatment and the minor was placed in her care under a plan of family maintenance. A few months later, the minor was again removed from Mother after she relapsed and participated in domestic violence. The juvenile court declined to order further reunification services and set a selection and implementation hearing. At this hearing, Mother argued the beneficial relationship…

View Full Summary
Name: M.G. et al. v. Superior Court
Case #: G058611
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 03/16/2020

Juvenile court order terminating reunification services and setting a 366.26 hearing was reversed where there was no evidence to support a conclusion that there was a risk to the minors if returned to their parents. Minors were removed from parents because father was incarcerated and mother was using drugs, was homeless, and had exposed the minors to domestic violence. The minors were removed, and reunification services were ordered. By the 12-month review hearing, both parents had made moderate progress, and the court continued reunification services and expanded visitation. The Department recommended termination of services at the…

View Full Summary
Name: In re William M.W. et al
Case #: A156489
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 12/17/2019

Although the juvenile court is not mandated to order discovery at no cost to parents in dependency proceedings, it has the discretion to do so where an indigent parent's meaningful access to the judicial process would otherwise be impaired. Prior to a contested hearing on a six-month review, parents' attorneys filed a motion to compel discovery, seeking a juvenile court order that copies of relevant discovery be provided to them at no cost. The Agency opposed the motion, arguing that discovery was available under the usual protocol: parents could view the material and request copies at the…

View Full Summary
Name: In re Harley C.
Case #: B293323
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 07/15/2019

Juvenile court erred when it prohibited mother from testifying as a sanction for violation of a local rule regarding joint trial statements. At a jurisdictional hearing on a dependency petition, mother waived her right to a hearing and submitted on the social worker's reports. The court sustained jurisdiction. Mother sought sole physical custody of the children, while the Department recommended termination of jurisdiction, with custody to father. At the disposition hearing, minor's counsel changed its position and aligned with the Department's recommendation. Mother requested to testify, but the court denied the request because mother had…

View Full Summary
Name: In re Daniela G.
Case #: A152434
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 05/29/2018

Juvenile court properly refused to compel minors to testify where possible benefit of testimony was outweighed by psychological harm it would cause to the minors. Appellant W.G. was accused of molesting his 13-year-old stepdaughter, and grooming his 8-year-old daughter Daniela G. for sexual abuse. Father subpoenaed stepdaughter and Daniela to testify at the combined jurisdictional and dispositional hearing. The Department moved to quash the subpoena under Evidence Code section 240 because testifying could cause Daniela "psychological injury." Two social workers testified that having Daniela testify would be extremely detrimental because of her age and the nature…

View Full Summary
Name: In re I.C.
Case #: S229276
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 04/26/2018

Appellate court opinion affirming jurisdiction orders was reversed where the juvenile court based its jurisdictional finding on hearsay of truth-incompetent minor without "special indicia of reliability" required by In re Lucero L. The juvenile court sustained a petition alleging that the minor, then three years old, had been sexually abused by her father. The evidence showed that the minor had been previously molested by an eight-year-old neighbor, who put his penis and a toy train in the minor's vagina. Two months later, the three-year-old minor said that her father had "put his penis on me." The…

View Full Summary
Name: J.H. v. Superior Court
Case #: B284802
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 02/15/2018

"Sanchez" limits on expert opinion testimony do not render social workers' reports inadmissible in dependency cases. At a status review hearing, the court permitted over objection the testimony of the supervisor of the writer of the social report. She testified there was not a substantial probability that the minors would be returned to father within the next six months. The court found that People v. Sanchez (2016) 63 Cal.4th 665 did not apply, terminated reunification services, and set the matter for a 366.26 hearing. Father petitioned for writ review, contending the court erred when it…

View Full Summary
Name: In re Marcus C.
Case #: B270853
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 02/25/2017

Juvenile court erred by dismissing petition rather than allowing Agency to amend the petition to conform to proof provided at the jurisdictional hearing. The Agency filed a dependency petition when toddler Marcus fell out of a second story window while his father was asleep. At the jurisdiction hearing, evidence was presented showing that, when a neighbor knocked on parents' apartment door, they did not immediately answer, and that they often let the minor play outside alone. Parents both abused drugs, and mother was never home. Also, they failed to make medical appointments scheduled for the minor…

View Full Summary
Name: N.S. v. Superior Court
Case #: A148694
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 12/16/2016

Nonminor dependent did not waive psychotherapist-patient privilege by offering letter from therapist in support of continuation of dependency status. N.S. was a nonminor dependent of the juvenile court. The Agency moved for dismissal of the dependency action because N.S. had not participated in services or maintained contact with the Agency. At a contested hearing, N.S.'s therapist was called to testify about a letter she wrote stating that N.S. had a diagnosis that kept her from participating in services. When asked about the diagnosis, the therapist asserted the psychotherapist-patient privilege. The juvenile court ordered her to…

View Full Summary
Name: In re Mia Z.
Case #: B267041
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 04/20/2016

Substantial evidence supports a section 300(f) finding where there was a causal connection between mother's neglectful conduct and her child's accidental death. Three-year-old Destiny died when a heavy iron rolling gate fell off its track and struck her in the head. Mother had a history of allowing her children to run around outside unsupervised. The Department filed a petition alleging section 300(f) [causing a sibling's death] and removed Destiny's 2-year-old sister, Mia, and then Angel, a subsequent child born to mother. At a contested hearing, Mother's landlord testified that he had observed the minors playing unsupervised many times, and had…

View Full Summary